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Aircraft Carriers






Torpedo Boats

Liberty Ships

Foreign Warships

Warships Associated With
World War II in the Pacific



Fletcher class

USS Kidd
USS Kidd, Baton Rouge, LA
(Photo by Tim Rizzuto, 1984)

Name:USS Kidd (DD-661)
Location:Adjacent to Mississippi River levee near Old State Capitol, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Owner:State of Louisina, Louisiana Naval War Memorial Commission
Condition:Excellent, unaltered

Displacement:2,325 tons standard / 2,924 tons full load
Length:376 feet
Width:40 feet
Machinery:2-shaft General Electric Turbines, 4-Babcock & Wilcox Boilers
Fuel Oil Capacity:492 tons
Maximum Speed:35 knots
Armament:Five 5-inch/35 caliber guns, 10 torpedo tubes, depth charges, and various combinations of antiaircraft guns.
Crew:273 wartime

Builder:Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Kearny, New Jersey
Launched:February 28, 1943
Commissioned:April 23, 1943


USS Kidd (DD-661) is a World War II Fletcher class destroyer. She was built by the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Kearny, New Jersey. She was launched February 28, 1943, and was commissioned April 23, 1943.

As the United States in World War II built more Fletcher class destroyers than any other, this class is particularly significant and played a major role in our nation's victory at sea. This class was the first to break with design practices that had developed as a result of the London Treaty of 1930. Fletcher class destroyers were flush deckers with two funnels and five 5-inch guns. They were larger in size than any previous class of destroyers and when fully loaded carried the fuel, ammunition, and stores needed for extensive sea duty in the Pacific. Their large size enabled them to carry their 5-inch guns in enclosed mounts, 10 torpedo tubes in two quintuple banks, depth charges, and large batteries of antiaircraft guns.

USS Kidd is the only surviving Fletcher class destroyer not modernized by the U.S. Navy. Before the end of the war, one bank of five torpedo tubes was removed and additional 40mm antiaircraft guns were added. USS Kidd is in excellent condition and retains her World War II integrity.

Role of the Destroyer in World War II

The destroyer had its origin in the late 19th century with the development of the first self-propelled torpedo. Navies quickly developed small fast torpedo boats designed to attack and sink larger battleships and cruisers. As a counter against torpedo boats, navies built a slightly larger ship, armed with torpedoes and heavier guns. These 900-ton ships were known as torpedo boat destroyers. World War I showed these ships suited to protecting larger ships against surface, submarine, and air attack. Also, they proved more effective offensively than torpedo boats, and assumed the attack role. By the end of World War I, they were simply known as "destroyers." [1]

The destroyers during World War II continued in this role as an all purpose ship ready to fight off attacks from the air, on the surface, or from below the sea. They could be called upon to give fire support to troops, deliver mail and people to other ships, rescue pilots who had been forced down at sea, and to serve as the distant early warning eyes of the fleet in hostile waters. [2] Destroyers did not have the glamour of a battleship or an aircraft carrier but without them the aircraft carrier and battleship would be helpless against enemy submarines. They were all-purpose ships whose support of general fleet operations was vital. No aircraft carrier or battleship ever proceeded into enemy waters without an escort of destroyers.

USS Kidd represents American destroyers that fought against Japan in World War II for the following reasons:

  1. USS Kidd is a Fletcher class destroyer and is representative of the 175 of her class built during the war. Fletcher class destroyers were equipped to attack surface vessels of all sizes, as well as submarines and aircraft. The Fletcher class formed the backbone of U.S. destroyer forces in World War II.

  2. USS Kidd was named for Rear Admiral Issac C. Kidd Sr. who was killed aboard his flagship, USS Arizona, during the surprise attack on Pear Harbor. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery.

  3. USS Kidd served with distinction during the war and saw action in some of the heaviest battles with the Japanese from 1943 to 1945. On April 11, 1945, during the invasion of Okinawa, USS Kidd was struck by a Japanese kamikaze and lost 38 dead and 55 wounded. USS Kidd received four battle stars for her World War II service.

  4. USS Kidd is in excellent condition and retains the best integrity of any surviving World War II destroyer. USS Kidd is the only surviving World War II destroyer that was not modernized during the post war period.


1. No author. USS Kidd (Information Brochure) March 1984.

2. Judd Scott Harmon, The USS Cassin Young (DD-793) (Missoula, Montana: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, 1985), p. 8.


Chesnau, Roger. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946. New York: Mayflower Books, 1980.

National Register Staff. "National Register of Historic Places Inventory USS Kidd." Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Division of Historic Preservation, State of Louisiana, 1983.

No Author. USS Kidd (Information Brochure) March 1984.

Harmon, Judd Scott, The USS Cassin Young (DD-793) Missoula, Montana: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, 1985.

Preston, Anthony. Destroyers. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1977.

Schofield, William G. Destroyers--60 Years. New York: Randy McNally & Company, 1962.


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(click on the above photographs for a more detailed view)

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